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Public Health Assessment
Air Pathway Evaluation,
Isla de Vieques Bombing Range,
Vieques, Puerto Rico

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August 26, 2003
Prepared by:

Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Tables

Table 1.

1990 and 2000 US Census Data for Vieques
Parameter 1990 Census Data 2000 Census Data
Number of Residents Percent of Total Residents Number of Residents Percent of Total Residents
Total residents 8,602 100% 9,106 100%
Men 4,234 49% 4,512 50%
Women 4,368 51% 4,594 50%
Women of childbearing age 1,766 21% 1,701 19%
Children 1,106 13% 1,001 11%
Elderly 993 12% 1,263 14%

Sources of data: US Bureau of the Census 1990, 2000.

Notes:
According to the 1990 census data, 2,056 families lived on Vieques. In 2000, this number increased to 2,366.
Both the 1990 and 2000 census data include residents living on Navy lands and in the residential area.

Definitions:
Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are considered of childbearing age.
Children are residents who are 6 years old or younger.
The elderly includes all residents of age 65 and older.

Table 2.

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Data for Vieques
Year Name of Facility
(as Listed in TRI)
Chemical Released Air Releases
(pounds per year)
1987 GE Co. Caribe 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 9,314
1988 GE Co. Caribe 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 8,400
1989 No data reported for the island of Vieques
1990 GE Co. Caribe 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 10,900
1991 Caribe GE Distribution Transformers Inc. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane 10,500
1992 Caribe GE Distribution Transformers Inc. Copper 0
1993 Caribe GE Distribution Transformers Inc. Copper 0
1994 Caribe GE Distribution Transformers Inc. Copper 0
1995 Caribe GE Distribution Transformers Inc. Copper 5
1996 GE Power Protection of PR Copper 15
1997 GE Power Protection of PR Copper 30
1998 GE Power Protection of PR Copper 30
1999 GE Power Protection of PR Copper 30

Source of data: EPA 1997, 2001.

Notes:
- The table lists only the air releases that facilities in Vieques reported to TRI.
- For reporting years 1987 through 1995, the "name of facility" is taken from one source of data (EPA 1997); for reporting years 1996 through 1999, it is from another (EPA 2001). Release data for more current years are not yet publicly available.
- TRI data are self-reported; the accuracy of the release data for individual facilities is not known.
- The TRI regulations require facilities in certain industries to disclose releases of specific hazardous chemicals and selected waste management activities. However, the regulations do not require that all facilities report, and do not address all contaminants, which is presumably why the table does not account for other emissions sources on Vieques. Therefore, the data in this table should not be viewed as a comprehensive emissions inventory for Vieques.
- Releases of zero pounds suggest that the facility manufactured, processed, or otherwise used the chemical in large enough quantities to trigger TRI reporting, but none (or less than 0.5 pounds per year) were estimated as being released to the air.

Table 3.

Summary of Air Exposure Pathways
Pathway Name Exposure Pathway Elements Time of Exposure Comments
Potential Source of Contamination Environmental Media Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Exposed Population
Potential Exposure Pathways
Inhalation of contaminants in wind-blown dust when bombing did not occur (see Section V.A) Wind-blown dust from the LIA Air: transport from the LIA downwind to residential locations Ambient air Inhalation Residents of Vieques Entire history of Navy operations Extensive sampling collected by PREQB has shown that levels of wind-blown dust on days without military training exercises are not of public health concern.
Inhalation of contaminants released on days when the Navy conducted military training exercises using only practice bombs (see Section V.B) Military training exercises at the LIA using practice bombs Air: transport from the LIA downwind to residential locations Ambient air Inhalation Residents of Vieques Exposures have only occurred on the days between April 1999 and May 1, 2003, when military training exercises occurred. This is limited to no more than 90 days per year. PREQB has collected numerous air samples on days when the Navy conducted training exercises using practice bombs. These samples indicate that levels of particulate matter have not reached levels that could present a public health hazard on days when practice bombs are used. The air sampling results, combined with soil sampling data, also indicate that exposures to metals and explosives are not of health concern on days when practice bombs are used.
Inhalation of contaminants released on days when the Navy conducted military training exercises using live bombs (see Section V.C) Military training exercises at the LIA using live bombs Air: transport from the LIA downwind to residential locations Ambient air Inhalation Residents of Vieques Dates of bombing exercises between 1941 and April 19, 1999 Modeling analyses of reasonable exposure scenarios indicate that the military training exercises involving live bombs did not result in exposures at levels of health concern for all categories of contaminants considered, including particulate matter, chemical by-products of explosions, metals, and explosives.
Inhalation of contaminants released during open burning and open detonation (see Section V.D) Open burning and open detonation of waste munitions and unexploded ordnance Air: transport from the LIA downwind to residential locations Ambient air Inhalation Residents of Vieques On isolated days from at least the early 1970s through the present Modeling analyses of reasonable exposure scenarios indicate that the limited open burning and open detonation activities have not resulted in exposures at levels of health concern for all categories of contaminants considered, including particulate matter, chemical by-products of explosions, metals, and explosives.
Inhalation of contaminants used sporadically during military training exercises (see Section V.D) Past firing of depleted uranium penetrators and ongoing use of chaff. Air: transport from the LIA (for depleted uranium) and in upper air winds patterns (chaff) downwind to residential locations Ambient air Inhalation Residents of Vieques Depleted uranium: limited to the date when the rounds of concern were used, and dates thereafter; chaff: on dates when the Navy uses the material during military training exercises. Modeling analyses of reasonable exposure scenarios indicate that the amounts of depleted uranium that were fired at Vieques and the amounts of chaff that have been released to the air did not result in exposures (either chemical or radiological) at levels of health concern in the residential areas of Vieques.

Note: Indirect exposures to air contaminants in other media (groundwater, soil, biota) are being addressed in other PHAs.

Table 4.

Estimates of Annual Average Ambient Air Concentrations of Metals on Vieques When Military Training Exercises Do Not Take Place
Refer to footnotes at the end of the table before interpreting any of the data presented below.
Element Average Concentration of Element in LIA Surface Soils (ppm, by weight) Estimated Annual Average Air Concentration of Element in PM10 (µg/m3) Health-based Comparison Value (µg/m3) Type of Comparison Value
Aluminum 16,200 0.55 3.7 RBC-n
Antimony 1.14 0.00004 1.5 RBC-n
Arsenic 7.87 0.0003 0.0002 CREG
Barium 105 0.004 0.51 RBC-n
Beryllium 0.241 0.000008 0.0004 CREG
Boron 15.7 0.0005 210 RBC-n
Cadmium 1.71 0.00006 0.0006 CREG
Chromium 37.8 0.0013 5500 RBC-n
Cobalt 14.6 0.0005 0.1 EMEG-c
Copper 39.1 0.0013 150 RBC-n
Iron 33,500 1.1 1,100 RBC-n
Lead 8.49 0.0003 1.5 NAAQS
Manganese 723 0.025 0.04 EMEG-c
Mercury 0.0216 0.0000007 0.2 EMEG-c
Nickel 15.9 0.0005 0.2 EMEG-c
Scandium 12.5 0.0004 NA NA
Selenium 1.23 0.00004 180 RBC-n
Strontium 156 0.0053 2200 RBC-n
Tin 4.87 0.0002 2200 RBC-n
Titanium 1,650 0.056 310 RBC-n
Vanadium 106 0.0036 0.2 MRL
Yttrium 20.8 0.0007 NA NA
Zinc 47.5 0.0016 1100 RBC-n
Zirconium 59 0.002 NA NA

Notes:
- The "average concentration of element in LIA surface soils" is taken from ATSDR's previous analysis of soils contamination (ATSDR 2001b).
- The "estimated annual average air concentration of element in PM10" is the product of the values in the first two columns.
- The "estimated annual average air concentration of element in PM10" was calculated by multiplying the annual average air concentration of PM10 in Esperanza (34.1 µg/m3, see Appendix C.1) and the average concentration of the element in LIA soils. This product was divided by 1,000,000 to convert the estimated concentration into units of µg/m3.
- The "type of comparison value" indicates the reference for the comparison value selected (see Appendix A). Abbreviations used in this field are:
    CREG: ATSDR cancer risk evaluation guide
    EMEG-c: ATSDR environmental media evaluation guide for chronic exposure
    MRL: ATSDR Minimal Risk Level
    NAAQS: EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standard
    RBC-n: EPA Region 3 risk-based concentration for noncancer effects
- NA: Scandium, yttrium, and zirconium do not have relevant health-based comparison values.
- The comparison value for "chromium" is for trivalent chromium, not hexavalent chromium. See Section V.A for an interpretation of this selection.

Table 5.

Estimates of Annual Average Ambient Air Concentrations of Explosives on Vieques When Military Training Exercises Do Not Take Place
Refer to footnotes at the end of the table before interpreting any of the data presented below.
Chemical Average PM10 Concentration at Esperanza
(µg/m3)
Average Concentration of Chemical in the LIA Soils
(ppm, by weight)
Estimated Annual Average Air Concentration of Chemical in PM10
(µg/m3)
Health-based Comparison Value
(µg/m3)
Type of Comparison Value
2-Amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene 34.1 0.62 0.00002 0.22 RBC-n
HMX 34.1 0.39 0.00001 180 RBC-n
Nitroglycerin 34.1 8.1 0.0003 0.45 RBC-c
RDX 34.1 0.41 0.00001 0.057 RBC-c
TNT 34.1 2.85 0.0001 0.21 RBC-c

Notes:
- The "average PM10 concentration at Esperanza" is based on the PREQB 2000-2002 sampling results (see Appendix C.1).
- The "average concentration of chemical in the LIA soils (ppm, by weight)" is the average concentration of explosives in soil samples collected at the LIA reported in the PHA on soil contamination (ATSDR 2001b).
- The "estimated annual average air concentration of chemical in PM10" is the product of the values in the first two columns.
- The "health-based comparison value" is a toxicity screening value (see Section IV.B and Appendix A for more details).
- The "type of comparison value" indicates the reference for the comparison value selected (see Appendix A). Abbreviations used in this field are:
    RBC-c: EPA Region 3 risk-based concentration for cancer effects
    RBC-n: EPA Region 3 risk-based concentration for noncancer effects

Table 6.

Ambient Air Concentrations of Particulate Matter in the Residential Areas of Vieques
Parameter Summary of PREQB's Sampling Results
Data Collected in Esperanza Data Collected in Isabel Segunda
Average Concentration
(µg/m3)
Concentration Range
(µg/m3)
Number of Samples Average Concentration
(µg/m3)
Concentration Range
(µg/m3)
Number of Samples
Summary statistics for total suspended particulates (TSP)
Sampling results for days without military training exercises 41.3 17-163 77 33.0 14-177 79
Sampling results for days with exercises using only practice bombs 53.3 25-124 15 43.8 18-105 10
Summary statistics for particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10)
Sampling results for days without military training exercises 35.0 14-64 75 21.6 10-60 78
Sampling results for days with exercises using only practice bombs 40.1 22-77 13 34.7 11-94 13

Notes:
- Data Source: See Appendix C.1. The data in the table are based on sampling data and range utilization statistics compiled through October 2001. Refer to Table C-1 for a complete account of the sampling results collected since that time.
- Dates with "exercises using only practice bombs" were determined from Navy range utilization statistics. Dates on which air-to-ground or ship-to-shore firing of "non-explosive ordnance" were considered as being exercises using only practice bombs.
- ATSDR ran t-tests to determine if statistically significant differences existed between the average concentrations listed above. These tests revealed that the differences in TSP levels at Esperanza and Isabel Segunda and the differences in PM10 levels at Esperanza were not statistically significant (p-level > 0.05). At Isabel Segunda, the average PM10 concentration during training exercises using practice bombs was greater than the average concentration when no practice bombs were used (p = 0.0005).

Table 7.

Correlation Between Weight of Bombs Dropped and Air Sampling Results
Date Total Weight of Non-Explosive Ordnance Used (tons) 24-Hour Average Ambient Air Concentrations Measured by PREQB (µg/m3)
TSP Concentrations in Esperanza TSP Concentrations in Isabel Segunda PM10 Concentrations in Esperanza PM10 Concentrations in Isabel Segunda
8/4/00 0.67 51 No sample 50 No sample
8/16/00 7.03 78 30 No sample 23
10/15/00 2.39 32 24 22 11
5/1/01 1.13 25 24 22 12
6/18/01 12.75 57 No sample 55 39
8/2/01 5.85 45 31 39 No sample
8/3/01 4.80 36 No sample 30 No sample
8/4/01 2.77 56 No sample 47 33
8/6/01 34.01 25 18 22 14
8/7/01 19.06 87 69 77 60
8/8/01 6.17 124 105 No sample 94
9/28/01 12.89 40 43 32 28
10/4/01 1.14 50 51 50 47
10/10/01 0.06 No sample No sample No sample 26
10/11/01 0.28 39 43 33 30
10/12/01 8.42 54 No sample 39 34

Notes:
- Data on weight of practice bombs dropped are taken from the Navy's range utilization statistics (Navy 2002); air sampling data were provided by PREQB (see Appendix C.1). Total weight of non-explosive ordnance used equals the sum of the amounts used for air-to-ground and ship-to-shore exercises. The data in the table are based on sampling data and range utilization statistics compiled through October 2001. Refer to Table C-1 for a complete account of the sampling results collected since that time.
- "No sample" indicates that PREQB did not report a valid sampling result for the pollutant, date, and location indicated.
- The weight of practice bombs dropped on the LIA was essentially uncorrelated with the TSP concentrations at Esperanza (R2 = 0.000), the TSP concentrations at Isabel Segunda (R2 = 0.011), the PM10 concentrations at Esperanza (R2 = 0.002), and the PM10 concentrations at Isabel Segunda (R2 = 0.000).
- Data are presented for only those days when practice bombs were dropped and valid air sampling results were available. Practice bombs were dropped on additional dates not shown in the table, but no valid sampling results were collected on those days.

Table 8.

Estimated Annual Average Concentrations of Chemical By-products of Explosions in the Residential Areas of Vieques that Resulted from Live Bombing Exercises
Chemical Estimated Annual Average Ambient Air Concentration (µg/m3) Health-Based Comparison Value (µg/m3) Type of Comparison Value
1,3,5-Trinitrobenzene 0.0000001 110 RBC-n
1,3-Butadiene 0.0000005 0.004 CREG
1,4-Dichlorobenzene 0.00000002 100 EMEG-c
2,4-Dinitrotoluene 0.0000003 7.3 RBC-n
2,6-Dinitrotoluene 0.00000003 3.7 RBC-n
2-Methylphenol 0.00000005 180 RBC-n
4-Methylphenol 0.00000004 18 RBC-n
4-Nitrophenol 0.0000002 29 RBC-n
Acetophenone 0.000001 0.021 RBC-n
Ammonia 0.00002 100 RfC
Benzene 0.00007 0.1 CREG
Benzo(a)pyrene 0.0000003 0.002 RBC-c
Benzyl alcohol 0.00000001 1,100 RBC-n
Biphenyl 0.000000004 180 RBC-n
Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate 0.0000002 0.45 RBC-c
Butylbenzylphthalate 0.00000007 730 RBC-n
Carbon dioxide 0.1 9,000,000 REL
Carbon monoxide 0.0005 10,000 NAAQS
Carbon tetrachloride 0.0000005 0.07 CREG
Dibenz(ah)anthracene 0.0000001 0.00086 RBC-c
Dibenzofurans 0.0000001 150 RBC-n
Diethylphthalate 0.00000003 2,900 RBC-n
Dimethylphthalate 0.00000006 37,000 RBC-n
Di-n-butylphthalate 0.000006 370 RBC-n
Di-n-octylphthalate 0.0000001 73 RBC-n
Diphenylamine 0.000000006 91 RBC-n
Naphthalene 0.00001 10 EMEG-c
Nitric oxide 0.001 370 RBC-n
Nitrogen dioxide 0.0002 100 NAAQS
N-Nitrosodiethylamine 0.000000008 0.00002 CREG
N-Nitrosodiphenylamine 0.0000004 1.3 RBC-n
Phenol 0.000002 2,200 RBC-n
Sulfur dioxide 0.00002 80 NAAQS
Vinyl chloride 0.00000009 0.1 CREG

Notes:
- All estimated annual average ambient air concentrations are based on outputs from ATSDR's air quality modeling analysis (see Appendix D.3). The concentrations listed are the highest estimated levels in the residential areas of Vieques.
- Refer to Appendix D.3 for estimated ambient air concentrations for the 11 chemicals considered in the modeling analysis that do not have health-based comparison values. Estimated concentrations of these chemicals are all considerably lower than levels that air sampling methods can reliably detect.
- Refer to Appendix A for explanations of the abbreviations used to describe the comparison values.

Table 9.

Estimated Annual Average Concentrations of Metals in the Residential Areas of Vieques that Resulted from Live Bombing Exercises
Chemical Estimated Annual Average Ambient Air Concentration (µg/m3) Health-Based Comparison Value (µg/m3) Type of Comparison Value
Aluminum 0.02 3.7 RBC-n
Antimony 0.000003 1.5 RBC-n
Arsenic 0.0000004 0.0002 CREG
Barium 0.00006 0.51 RBC-n
Beryllium 0.00000001 0.0004 CREG
Boron 0.0000008 210 RBC-n
Cadmium 0.00009 0.0006 CREG
Chromium (total) 0.00002 5,500 RBC-n
Chromium (hexavalent) 0.0000004 0.00008 CREG
Cobalt 0.0000006 0.03 EMEG-i
Copper 0.003 150 RBC-n
Iron 0.03 2,200 RBC-n
Lead 0.0001 1.5 NAAQS
Manganese 0.0007 0.04 EMEG-i
Mercury 0.00000001 0.2 EMEG-i
Molybdenum 0.0000004 18 RBC-n
Nickel 0.000006 0.2 EMEG-i
Selenium 0.00000005 18 RBC-n
Strontium 0.000007 2,200 RBC-n
Tin 0.0000002 2,200 RBC-n
Titanium 0.0001 31 RBC-n
Vanadium 0.000005 0.2 EMEG-a
Zinc 0.002 1,100 RBC-n

Notes:
- All estimated annual average ambient air concentrations are based on outputs from ATSDR's air quality modeling analysis (see Appendix D.3). The concentrations listed are the highest estimated levels in the residential areas of Vieques.
- Refer to Appendix D.3 for estimated ambient air concentrations for the metals considered in the modeling analysis that do not have health-based comparison values (e.g., calcium). Estimated levels of these chemicals are all considerably lower than air sampling methods can reliably detect.
- Refer to Appendix A for explanations of the abbreviations used to describe the comparison values.

Figures

Figure 2.


 
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